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September 28, 2008

Structure Analysis

Star Tribune News Story

The above story is a straight-forward news story. It begins with a standard lead. The lead includes all the basic information, or the 5 W's. It explains the most important detail for the most part. One thing that I am unsure about though, is the last line "in an area that is popular with bicyclists." I am not really sure what this adds to the leas. Perhaps this would be better mentioned later on in the story.

Moving on, the next paragraph focuses on more specific details. The bicyclist is named and the exact time of the accident is reported.

From here the report moves on to a move detailed overview of the accident in question. This seems like an appropriate place for this information to me as it is not as critical as the above facts but still ought to be placed higher in the story than say, the victim's personal interests. More information about the victim, such as her address and spouse do appear in the last paragraph.

The reported ordered this information in the ways that have been discussed in class, start with the most important facts and work your way down the inverted pyramid. The location of the accident and the victim's name, if known, should be reported before the victim's address. I believe this is an effective way to write this news story.

Could it have been done differently? Yes, if one wanted to move away from a traditional news story format. One could start with more details about the victim and fashion a more feature-oriented piece. By focusing more on the woman and less on the accident itself, it does change the tone of the story. Less hard news and more feature.

Ted Kennedy suffers mild seizure

A short report on the hospitalization of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) on Friday was posted Saturday by the Washington Post.

Kennedy was taken by ambulance to a hospital near his Cape Cod vacation home after suffering a mild seizure. As reported by the Boston Globe, authorities had received an emergency 911 call at 5:12 p.m. from the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Barnstable police Sergeant Ben Baxter, said.

The seizure was attributed to a change in medications, Kennedy's office in Washington said in a statement.

Kennedy returned home a few hours after being admitted to the hospital. He reportedly planned to watch the presidential debates that evening.

Kennedy had a previous seizure in May and underwent surgery in June for a malignant brain tumor.An anonymous associate of Kennedy's said that doctors told Kennedy that seizures will become more common as he battles the brain tumor.

The Globe report further elaborated on the story by including the views of a medical professional-

"It is not uncommon for patients with brain cancer to suffer seizures intermittently, said Dr. Deepa Subramaniam, director of the Brain Tumor Center at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C.

"Even for those patients whose tumors have been completely taken out, you still have an area of their brain that remains abnormal for the rest of their lifetime," Subramaniam said."

At least 52 Somalis die in attempt to reach Yemen

CNN reported that at least 52 Somalis died when the boat smuggling them across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen broke down, leaving them without food or water for 18 days.

Seventy-one people survived. The survivors were rescued by coast guardsmen in Shihr after the boat drifted into Yemeni coastal waters September 21, according to a news release from the San'a, Yemen, office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

The boat's engine stopped shortly after departing Somalia. The smugglers abandoned the boat for another craft and did not return for the refugees.

Forty-eight of the Somalis, 38 men and 10 women, died while the boat was adrift. Survivors said the bodies were thrown overboard, the UNHCR said. Four survivors of the ordeal later died at a medical center.

The survivors said they left Somalia because of drought, unemployment and other insecurity in the war-torn nation.

According to the UNHCR at least 31,192 people have arrived in Yemen aboard smugglers' boats this year. More than 228 Somalis and Ethiopians have died, and 262 are missing.

A Washington Post also report on this story, including information on what happens to those who survive the journey from Somalia to Yemen.

Survivors register with the U.N. refugee agency and stay in refugee camps in Yemen. Others can take jobs in the cities as laborers for less than a $1 a day.

22 animals die after a kennel fire in Beaver Dam

The Pioneer Press posted an AP story on a kennel fire that killed 21 dogs in Beaver Dam, Wis., on Saturday.

The Beaver Dam Fire Department says about 31 dogs were at Everafter Kennels when the fire was reported at 6:40 p.m. Friday.

Using information from a Web site, the kennel was reported as a family-owned operation that breeds Doberman Pinscher and Chinese Crested dogs.

Officials said the fire damaged two sides of the structure, and caused a cave-in on one end of the roof.

The Dodge County Humane Society was contacted to help in recovering the dogs.

A local news source, the Beaver Dam Citizen Daily, offered more specific information on the story.

The boarding kennel, Moa's Everafter Kennels, was owned by Margarita Files. 22 animals were reported to have died, 21 dogs and one cat.

This article states that only 25 animals were in the kennel at the time of the fire, as opposed to 31.

Kennel records were destroyed, so Files has been unable to contact all of the animal owners.

The kennel provided dog and cat boarding, grooming and daycare services.

Stillwater Lift Bridge Stuck

The Star Tribune reported Friday afternoon that the Stillwater lift bridge was stuck in the open position, blocking traffic.

The lift of the historic bridge became stuck shortly after noon, Mary McFarland, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said. Crews were expected to fix the problem in time for evening rush hour, McFarland said.

The reason for the bridge malfunction was unknown. Drivers wishing to cross the St. Croix River were instructed to detour south to Interstate 94.

A later report in the Pioneer Press clarified some of the questions left unanswered from the Star Tribune piece.

An electrical malfunction in the bridge's sensors caused the bridge to get stuck open. The computer that operates the bridge thought that the bridge was down when it was actually up, McFarland said.

Traffic between Minnesota and Wisconsin was able to resume around 8:45 p.m. Friday.

St. Paul bicyclist dies after SUV collision

A 51-year-old St. Paul woman died Saturday, several hours after being struck by at SUV near Summit and Snelling Avenues, the Star Tribune reported.

Virginia Heuerbowar (reported as Heuer-Bowar by the Pioneer Press) was hit at 8:10 a.m., Pete Panos, a spokesman for St. Paul police, said.

Heuerbowar was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. She had sustained head injuries, although she was wearing a helmet, and died about 3 p.m.

Panos said Heuerbowar had been riding east on Summit Avenue from Snelling. The driver of the SUV, a 39-year-old Minneapolis man, told police he was driving east on a service road that merges onto Summit Avenue and had stopped at a stop sign at the merger.

"He stopped and accelerated, and all of a sudden, she was in front of him," Panos said the driver told police.

There were no witnesses to the accident. Police released the driver, pending investigation.

September 21, 2008

Attribution Analysis

The article from the Washington Post focusing on the proposed abortion ban uses a variety of sources in several different ways.

The reporter used direct quotes from people on both sides of the debate, as well as telling readers about them without the use quotes. These attributions are spread out through out the story and correspond with the surrounding information.

As an example from the article, the reporter chose to name a woman and start the article with her personal story Her general information is given first, without any direct quotes. As discussed in class, she is quoted when her words are most powerful-

"I was not going to bury two of my babies," Campbell remembers thinking. "If I can intervene and save one of my babies, I'm going to do it."

In this instance, I am not sure if "remembers thinking" is the best choice of words as she did not "remember" this quote, she said it. Though I believe the reader understands the context.

The reporter goes on to use direct quotes from those on both sides of the ban including doctors and anti-abortion activists.

I believe that overall the layout and choice of quotes makes for and interesting and easily understood story. The reported credited sources wherever nessecary using the techniques discussed in class, such as putting the noun before the verb "said."

Overall the article does not feel quote heavy and the attributions offer insider information into the situation in South Dakota.

Abortion restriction up for vote in S. Dakota

On Nov. 4, South Dakota ballot's will include a proposal banning most abortions in the state, the UPI reported.

Citing an article from the Washington Post, the article states that votes will be vote for the second time on this issue since 2006.

If the proposal known as Measure 11 is passed, all abortions would be banned expect those in cases of rape, incest and in some cases where the health and life of the woman is in danger.

Supporters of Measure 11 say they hope to prevent more than 700 abortions a year and they also hope such a law would produce a case to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Measure 11 supporter Leslee Unruh called the proposal "urgent for the babies who are aborted."

On the other hand, Dr. Marvin Buehner, a physician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, said the law "would amount to a total ban" on abortion.

Travis Barker and DJ AM expected to make full recovery

Musicians Travis Barker and DJ AM are expected to make a fully recovery after suffering burns during a South Carolina plane crash that killed four people, CNN reported.

The former Blink 182 drummer and DJ AM, real name Adam Goldstein, are being treated at the Joseph Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia. They sustained second and third degree burns in Friday night's crash, Barker to the torso and lower body, Goldstein to the face and arm, said Dr. Fred Mullins, the center's executive director.

Both musicians are expected to make a full recovery, though they could be hospitalized for weeks, Mullins said.

Investigators found evidence that one of the jet's tires may have blown moments before takeoff, Debbie Hersman, the spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said.

Several entertainment and gossip sources has also been frequently posting updates on this story.

MTV News reported that Mullins would not comment on the types of treatment Barker and Goldstein were undergoing at the center. Mullins also refused to answer a reporter's question about what percentage of their bodies were burned.

During the press conference, Mullins also read a statement from Barker's and Goldstein's families.

"The families wish to thank fans all over the world for their prayers and concern. Deepest sympathy is expressed to the loved ones who perished in the crash. As the two recuperate and mourn this loss, privacy for them, their families and friends is requested at this time."

September 20, 2008

St. Kate's to modify its name

The College of St. Catherine will be undergoing a name change, the Pioneer Press reported. As of June, 2009, the institution will official go by St. Catherine University.

The new moniker was chosen unanimously on Aug. 28, beating out four other options because "its simple, it's elegant, and it put St. Catherine — which is our brand — first," Sister Andrea Lee, the college's president, said.

A Star Tribune report on the name change focused more on the reasoning behind the name change and what will become of well-known landmarks bearing the old moniker.

Lee said that St. Kate's budget and endowment have doubled over the past decade. The school has also had 10 consecutive years of enrollment growth.

As the nation's largest women's college, the school has just under 3,000 women working on four-year undergraduate degrees.

Eden Praire: Top ten healthiest place to retire

US News reported that Eden Prairie, Minn., has been ranked on a list of 10 ten healthiest places to retire in the United States.

A team of editor's from US News traveled in the county in order to compile their list. The locations were chosen based on exercise opportunities, social connections, and overall encouragement of healthy living.

The Star Tribune reports that Eden Prairie was ranked the 3rd healthiest place to retire. While this could not be determined from the online version of the US News article, it may be listed in the print version.

Eden Prairie was selected based on the close proximity to lakes, exercise programs tailored to seniors, and an abundance of park land, among other things.

September 19, 2008

Tainted milk sickens almost 13,000 Chinese Children

CNN reported that China's Health Ministry announced Sunday that nearly 13,000 infants and young children have been sickened by tainted milk power.

This new number is more than double the number previously reported -- according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. Of the children affected, 104 have serious symptoms, and 1,579 have been cured and discharged and at least four children have died, the agency said.

The first reported death from the melamine tainted milk was released on September 12.

Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety announced Sunday that a sample of Nestle Dairy Farm Pure Milk, used for catering use only, had tested positive for melamine, the same industrial contaminant from China that poisoned and killed thousands of U.S. dogs and cats last year.

However, the Swiss company said in a news release it is "confident" none of its milk products made in China contains the chemical.

"Following press reports in Hong Kong earlier today claiming that traces of melamine had been found in a Nestle growing up milk, Nestle is confident that none of its products in China is made from milk adulterated with melamine," the company said.

The Washington Post offered an update on this story, reporting that officials arrested two brothers, surnamed Geng, who are suspected of mixing the banned toxin into milk to try to fool buyers who tested its protein content.

Melamine is said to boost protein readings on tests.

Xinhua reported that the men, who run a milk collection business, sold about three tons of the contaminated milk daily. Some of the milk is believed to have been sold to Sanlu Group, the country's biggest producer of powdered milk.

September 14, 2008

Death Toll Rises in New Delhi Blast

The Washington Post reported that the blasts from five small bombs have killed at least 22 people and injuring more than 90 in a busy New Delhi market.

The blasts took place over the course of 25 minutes. The bombs were placed within trash cans and on bicycles.

"Whoever has done this, they are enemies of humanity and enemies of India," said Home Affairs Minister Shivraj Patil. "They want to destroy peace in our society...We will take the toughest action against them."

A group referred to as the Indian Mujahideen has taken responsibility for the attacks in an e-mail sent to media offices.

"Within five minutes from now . . . this time with the Message of Death, dreadfully terrorizing you for your sins," the e-mail said.

The email also challenged officials to "try and stop us if you can" and warned that there would be nine blasts in the city. Bomb disposal teams were able to defuse four bombs planted around the downtown area. CNN reports that two of the remaining bombs were found near a movie theater and near central park in the Connaught Place area.

Indian Mujahideen has previously claimed responsibility for past bombings across India.

Analysis of News Lead

Bullet may have traveled five blocks to strike Minneapolis Girl

The lead- "An 11-year-old girl is recovering after being shot in the leg while playing in the backyard of her South Minneapolis home on Thursday — but police aren't exactly sure how it happened."

This lead appears to be a fairly straight-forward news lead. In one sentence, the writer sums up the story using the 5 Ws:

Who was involved? A young girl.
What happened? She was shot in the leg.
Where? The backyard of her South Minneapolis home.
When? Thursday night.
Why? Police are unsure.

This lead does add more information than what appears to be the traditional news leads, such as the girl's age and the fact that she was playing in the backyard at the time of the incident. In my opinion, this additional information helps to draw readers into the rest of the story. An 11-year-old being shot is not an everyday occurrence, especially one innocently playing in her own backyard. Mentioning these details in the first sentence brings out questions of whether or not one is safe on their own property, how one can protect their children, and fears about what lies beyond the perimeters of our own backyards.

3 Stabbed Saturday in South Minneapolis

Three people were hospitalized Saturday morning after an early morning knife fight, the Pioneer Press reported.

Police Sgt. William Palmer said that the fight took place around 3 a.m. outside the Taco Bell located near Lake Street and Third Avenue South.

According to the Star Tribune, a 26-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman both received stab wounds to the chest and a 24-year-old woman was stabbed in the arm. However the Pioneer Press reported that it was a man in his 20s that had been stabbed in the arm.

The victims were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Their conditions were unknown.

Witnesses described the suspects as a man and a woman, of unknown age and description, who fled the scene.

Destruction in Texas

The Washington Postt reported that those in the Texas Gulf Coast area have begun to assess the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike.

Ike’s 110-mph winds and heavy rains left heavy damage across the eastern coast of Texas. Though storm surges were smaller than predicted, the storm washed away homes and left as many as 2 million people without power.

According to a report from CNN, Ike is believed to have caused 13 deaths as of Sunday evening, three of the deaths in Galveston County, Texas.

As a result of flooding, power outages, and widespread debris, Houston has enacted a weeklong curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Looting was also cited as another reason for the curfew enactment.

Minneapolis Girl Struck by Stray Bullet

The Star Tribune reported that police are investigating the possibility that a stray bullet traveled over 5 blocks before striking a Minneapolis girl.

As identified in the Pioneer Press, Jasmine Krebs, 11, had finished her homework when she went outside to look for a toy by the family’s backyard pool. Around 7:00 p.m. Jasmine was hit by the bullet and began screaming that she had been shot.

Police Sgt. William Palmer said Krebs was hit in the upper leg by what was probably a ricochet, the Pioneer Press also reported. Palmer also said that a witness believes he heard the bullet ricochet off of his house.

Krebs was hospitalized overnight before being released and is expected to make a full recovery.

The Star Tribune reported that the Minneapolis Police Department is investigating the possibility that the bullet that hit Krebs is related to reports of multiple shots police received at approximately the same time at Richard Green Central Park.

As the Krebs house is located on the 3200 of First Avenue South, the bullet may have traveled over 5 blocks, through trees, across Interstate highway 35W, and through the Krebs’ backyard fence before striking Krebs in the upper leg.

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

"Saturday Night Live" alum Tina Fey made a brief return for the show's season premier to portray Republican vice presidential Sarah Palin.

The general consensus for the opening sketch, as seen in Tom Shales column for The Washington Post was positive. As Shale put it, Fey "killed" in her portray of Palin. Her impression was "dead-on" and was aided in the fact that Fey and Palin share a strong resemblance.

According to Executive producer Lorne Michaels, Fey wasn't even sure she would be able to make Saturday's taping, due to scheduling conflicts with the taping of her own television show, "30 Rock". "She came by Friday night and we rehearsed," Michaels said of Fey.

According to Scott Conroy's Blog for CBS News', Sarah Palin's spokesperson, Tracey Schmitt, said that real Sarah Palin had a good laugh along with the press corps in the back of the plane and millions of Americans at home.

“She thought it was quite funny, particularly because she once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween,? Schmitt said.